Educating Our Children: Not just a Moral Obligation, but an Economic Imperative.
Illinois must provide fair and full (ensuring at least 51%) of Pre-K -12 education funding by the state while providing local property tax relief. Such funding reform must have Illinois move away from our over-reliance on property taxes as a means of funding education and to other sources of revenue. The burden of such funding must be equitably distributed across all demographic, and socio-economic sectors. Further, Illinois must insure adequate state funding for public universities and provide at least 51% funding for community colleges such as Harper College and Elgin Community College.
As State Senator I am fighting to provide for:
1 Education reform
2 Vocational and technical education
3 Education and training of exceptional children
4 Bilingual and dual language education
5 Full-day kindergarten
6 Alternative education programs
7 Early childhood education for mainstream and special education students
8 Early identification and programs for at-risk children
9 Primary education in conflict resolution, violence prevention and drug and alcohol abuse
10 School Based Health Care Clinics
11 Infrastructure, building repair and maintenance
The State of Illinois should allow consolidation and reorganization only where it enhances educational quality and more efficient use of funds.
Accountability of Teachers
Illinois must maintain rigorous standards for earning and maintaining an Illinois State teacher certificate. To this end I support:
1 Creating a Professional Teachers Standards Board composed of a majority of certified teachers.
2 Legislation to require that all new tenure track faculty appointments in the Illinois Community Colleges have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the appropriate discipline.
Illinois must strengthen child labor laws and oppose economic exploitation and abuse of
children and require one certified school counselor for every 250 pupils enrolled, and for each fraction thereof. Illinois must further ensure adequate funding of the Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies responsible for child welfare and enact legislation to require a health care professional in each school building
The State of Illinois must ensure that schools are safe havens for students and school employees.
Long ago I pledged to seek and support all legislation that ensures the equal rights of all individuals in all areas including fair labor, education and housing practices without regard to age, sex, race, religion or sexual orientation. I will enthusiastically work for Illinois ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.
I also pledge to oppose:
1 Attempts to weaken or reduce present student attendance requirements for the purpose of computing state aid
2 Attempts to weaken or repeal compulsory school attendance laws
3 De-mandating of educational programs
4 Any effort to weaken the separation of church and state
5 Mandated statewide textbook selection
6 Privatization of services
7 Inclusion until proper and adequate resources and facilities are provided
8 Budget cuts which curtail and/or obstruct educational and social services